June is Cataract Awareness Month, an eye condition that affects about 20.5 million or about one in six Americans over the age of 40. If cataracts are so common, what are some warning signs and symptoms of cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, and it begins very small. One of the first symptoms you may notice is that your vision is blurred, much like looking through a cloudy piece of glass (Source: Mayo Clinic). The most common symptoms of this eye disease are:
- Dim, blurry or clouded vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- The appearance of “halos” around lights
- Increasing difficulty with night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Need for brighter light for reading
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
The symptoms you experience will be directly related to the type of cataract that you have. If you have a nuclear cataract you may experience a temporary improvement in your near vision known as “second sight.” This improvement will fade as the cataract worsens, though. Another type of cataract is a subcapsular cataract, which might not have any symptoms until it is well-developed and can develop much more rapidly (Source: All About Vision).
Regular comprehensive eye exams are important for individuals of all ages. However, if you experience changes in your vision, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. The sooner your cataract is diagnosed, the quicker you can have it removed. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries in the United States, and it can restore lost vision so you can resume the activities you enjoy.